Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thinking about the game

To understand anything its best to understand the very basics of it and build up. I don't have any exact sources to back up the following post, so please comment any mistakes I make. If there are some it will most likely not matter to understand the gist of what I'm saying.

Tight aggressive wins in poker, fish lose. It's pretty simple. If you don't know what I'm talking about stop reading now. So lets say you are making good money playing, but want even more action and more bad plays. What are some things you can do? Sklansky, limits, blah, blah, blah. What if you added more cards? For example 2-20, J, Q, K, A. I'm crazy right? Well there didn't use to be 2-8 (I think), they were added to give people even more crap to play with to lose hands to the good players. I believe it was on the riverboats in the US, but I could be wrong on that. Thinking even more 'outside the box' what would happen if you added another suit, maybe two new suits to the current deck? Truth is, not much, the good players will still win, and the bad will lose more quickly.

I'll have a writeup later on what hand ranks are with more suits, etc. Its pretty interesting stuff. The truth of the matter is, that with a little math you can be profitable with any deck, we are all just accustom to playing with 52 cards.

The big game now is Texas Hold'em. Think about it for a minute. There are 4 betting rounds, but after only the first one, you know 5/7 (~71%) of your hand, and 3/7 (~42%) of your opponents hand. Seems a bit odd right? There is a reason for that too. If I'm a good player, I have the fish right where I want them. The draws are simply right in front of your face. The game is almost over before it even starts, but most of the money comes into play in 2/7 (28%) of the game. The other way to get money from fish quickly is to have lots of betting rounds and have them drawing at the smallest chance of making their hand. Seven card stud is great for betting rounds, but Texas Hold'em is great for the amount of information that you have. In seven card if an opponent has a gutshot in 4 cards they have 3 chances at hitting it, in Texas Hold'em if they have a gutshot on the flop they have 2. Do you think there is a reason for that?

In reading different histories of gambling, it was again on the riverboats, that the good players experimented with lots of different ways of playing poker games in order to balance betting rounds vs. information vs. draws. Some stayed with us (seven card) and the others were lost to history.

To understand anything, one should know it's history and why it is the way it is. There is a reason things are played the way they are currently in poker. By that I mean how the cards are distributed and displayed in order to make the best five card hand.
Pop quiz:
How should you adjust your game for a 10/20/30 game (A limit game that allows 30 to be bet on the river)

I have not read the answer, but I know generally what would be the right decision, although much more detailed information could probably be found on 2+2.
There is going to be swings, the bad beats will happen. Party is not rigged (valued at $4 billion, do you think they are really after your $10/$100/$1,000). You have to have a big enough bankroll to play through the hard times. You have to play solid. You have to understand the game. We all can learn more.

On a side note, if you sign up at Full Tilt with bonus code 'EPHRO' and email me your username I will send you 10% of your rake back every month. Right now they are offering a 100% deposit bonus, and the fish are streaming in everyday. They were over 2,000 players today, and they are growing fast. The fish love the fact that so many pros play there and are willing to throw thousands around in order to say "I made a move on Howard Lederer".


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